Ash Dunford wasn’t your typical newborn. In fact, his story was unlike any others around the bustling city of Birmingham Detroit. Ash had came into the world kicking and screaming, raising hell the moment his lungs filled with air. His biological parents were nothing short of piss poor idiots. They were both strung out on drugs and alcoholics. His father had been in prison for murder the day Ash was born, and his mother was wanted by the police also, for harboring a fugitive aka his father, and withholding information from the police. After Ash was placed in the nursery of the hospital though, his biological mother ripped her IV’s and heart monitor cords away from her sore body before fleeing the hospital with Ash. She dropped him off on a ship in a wooden crate. The ship was loaded with stolen goods Ash’s mother assuming she’d get to go with him and make a new life for herself and her son.
That wasn’t what happened however, sadly, right after she loaded Ash onto the ship in a wooden crate, she’d been sprayed with maze, and tasered, taken into police custody, and for some reason, not mentioning that she had loaded a newborn baby onto that ship. She thought it would keep him safe, or at least out of the foster system. And, she knew someone would find him and take him in either way. She was right, it would keep him out of the system. But, what she didn’t know was that the last time she’d looked into that chocolate gaze of Ash’s would literally be the last time.
Ash, a newborn baby, laid in that wooden crate for hours, kicking and screaming at the cold that enveloped his small body, and hungry. He’d managed to make a scene even as a newborn, and drew in the attention of the man who was your average tall dark and mysterious. Tate Dunford was notoriously known in the small town of Birmingham for his wolf pack, and because he’d also led a mafia of his own. He ran one of the most vicious packs around the United States, and people feared him, cowering at just the mere mention of his name. The first week or two of having Ash in his possession, were long, confusing draining days for Tate. Tate knew how to handle the situation, and he did so with grace, but raising a child wasn’t his cup of tea. However, Ash had begun to grow on him, finding his way to a soft spot in Tate's heart, that everyone around Tate had assumed closed up years ago.
Tate had only been on the ship, to retrieve what belonged to him. He was part of an illegal trading system. Coins, drugs, weapons, you name it, Tate had it. There’d been crates and crates full of money on the ship as well. It was only by a small miracle that Tate even heard Ash’s small high pitched cries over the ships engine. Tate realized that taking in a newborn like this, may be a mistake, considering the way he had found him. He had no idea if the newborn would even survive through the night after having laid in the crate freezing for hours. After he finished his dealings on the ship, and returned back to his home with the small child who needed much more time and attention than a man like Tate could offer.
Tate began second guessing, but Tate couldn’t bring himself into giving Ash up though. For some reason, Tate found a whole world behind Ash’s eyes, and decided he’d keep him and train him to someday be exactly like Tate himself.While Ash was only a human, and Tate a Therian, Tate felt that there was so much he could teach him. Tate’s pack had welcomed Ash into their lives as well, with open arms. And for a while, Tate fathered the child like any loving father would. Having a village of people / Therians to help. He had given him a beautiful home, his last name, and all the money a child would need for their future. At just the tender age of five, when it was time for Ash to start school, Tate decided to invest a little more into Ash’s future, leaving Ash’s name on his will, which would give Ash everything he’d ever want and need when Tate was no longer around.
Though most of the money Tate had, was from illegal business, it was enough to assure that Ash would be wealthy.Ash was well known by his teachers even on his first day of school. All the adults in Ash’s hometown, despised Tate Dunford. He was known as a drug dealer, a thief, and had even went to prison years ago for murder that got ruled out as self defense. The teachers turned their nose up at Ash, but it somehow gave Ash the drive he needed to go through school at the top of his class. Each year that passed, Ash became smarter, and among his peers, he was sort of an Alpha himself. People tended to follow Ash’s lead, the way that Tate’s pack followed him. Ash however, never knew that the man who’d been caring for him, was of supernatural status.
It was the year of Ash’s 12th birthday when things had changed. Tate was meant to do some pretty dark bidding with those in his pack.Tate found this as an issue though, and he couldn’t take Ash along, nor could he leave him home by himself as young as he was. Ash begged to differ, suggesting that Tate hired a babysitter. Tate gave in after a hot meal was shared between father and son. It took Tate a week to find the perfect one. Joseline was a tall blonde with intense blue eyes who’d had a career in dancing,which was only a better word for what she really did; stripping. But Joseline was one of Tate’s favorite flings; a woman Tate had known for many years, and despite the kind of job she had, Tate knew how well she was with her own daughter before her daughter was killed in a car accident. Joseline had agreed to pack her things and reside in Tate’s home while he was gone on a ‘business trip’. Tate’s real plans however, hadn’t been revealed to Ash right away, and little did Ash know, he could be bidding his father-figure farewell forever.
Tate and his pack were at war with a pack of rogue species, mostly that of Valkyr’ who’d been draining innocents of their blood, and leaving a line of bodies piled along the city streets, turning their small town into a nightmare. People were terrified and riddled with fear, so much that it became a ghost town. People were too afraid to even step on their front porches, and the body count seemed to get higher at night time.Tate and the leader of the Valkyr’ mafia had also been at war over illegal business, so it was all in all, mafia business had consumed Tate’s life, and it just happened to be that it was between a bunch of supernaturals, and he somehow felt guilt-stricken to think he may not make it home, back to the little boy he had raised so far. Ash had grown used to Tate and became attached to the man who’d rescued him from a ship meant to sail away into what could have been a pretty terrible life for the small boy. In time, Tate had began to mold Ash, as all the Therians of Tate’s pack did with their own children, raising them to be just like their fathers.
Illegal trading and drug trafficking was the way of living for them, and it paid their bills. Due to the ring leader of the Valkyr gang having more connections than Tate and his Therians, making it hard for any of them to be imployed. Above all, Tate just wanted Ash to be part of his world,plus it assured that Tate wouldn’t be leaving Ash in the dark about things. At least most things. Ash knew about Therians by the time he was old enough to form sentences, and when Tate first explained it to him, Ash laughed hysterically until he cried in fear. But, he learned in time, that they were no different than himself, and that over half the people he had been looking at like his own family, were part of a pack that his father ran.And they weren’t bad people, well, except for all the illegal bidding they did, from selling drugs and weapons, to hiring hit-man's or committing murders themselves.
Ash somehow found this dark world he was being raised in, thrilling. Ash became some-what obsessed with learning more about the supernatural world though, which posed a threat, but they decided to narrow it down to him being young.The night before Tate had planned to leave and handle some ‘business’ with the Valkyr leader of the Valkyr mafia he decided to sit Ash down, and finally fill him in on things he hadn’t before. “Son, there’s so much you need to know, and i’m deeply sorry for waiting until now to tell you. The truth is, there’s not only Therians, wolves like me and the rest of the pack. There’s Valkyr’ and other species you’ve never even seen. These Valkyr’ have posed a huge threat to our city though, and I have to deal with it before things get worse. There’s a very slim chance that .. that I won’t make it back to you” Tate expressed, shedding tears for the first time in years as he held a heart broken Ash.Ash’s dark gaze fixed on his father’s broken one.
“Dad, I love you. No matter what happens. But, please come back home, you’re all I have” Ash expressed, and for the first time, addressing Tate as his father, feeling his heart sink to the back of his chest, thinking his father may just not make it back from this. “I've showed you how to deal with the money, so you know what to do, should there be people knocking at the door. You know the rules, and you know we don’t do hand-outs or front to people. You know how to work a gun now yes?” Take questioned, and Ash grinned, giving his father the nod of his head. “I’ll handle business and hold down the fort while you’re gone” Ash then said, hoping this would motivate Tate to do what he needed to do to stay alive. Tate had taught Ash all the illegal ways of a mafia leader as well, hoping when he was old enough that he’d fall in line to be the next leader and take over for Tate.
The loyalty that came with all that Ash had learned so far, had earned him respect from those older and younger than him.Scheduled to leave, Tate had left two of his pack members behind to watch over Ash and make sure nothing happened, but also to help Ash handle his fathers drug business.The morning had come for Tate to leave and Ash had woke at almost 6 a.m where the dark sky had just began to lighten up a little. Ash wandered to Tate’s bedroom hesitantly, not wanting to say goodbye when he knew it could be for good, only to find a made up bed, Joseline’s sleeping frame, and a note on Tate’s beside table. Not waking Joseline, Ash picked the note up and exited the bedroom, with one of the most terrifying feelings blazing in the pit of his stomach. “Dear Ash, I’m sorry to tell you goodbye like this.
In case it is goodbye. I didn’t have the heart to look into your eyes and tell you that it may be the last time I can say I love you. I've left the information with Joseline that you’ll need in case something happens to me, remember everything I've taught you, and never stray to far from who we are. The world don’t have but one place for people like us” Ash gritted his teeth and fell backwards onto his bed, sobbing. Joseline had woken nearly an hour later, finding Ash crumbled up in the corner of his bedroom, rocking back and forth. Sitting down beside him, the tall, fit blonde placed a hand on Ash’s shoulder, and hesitantly, Ash leaned over laying his head on her. “He won’t be back will he?” Ash asked with saddened eyes. “I think he will surprise us either way” she spoke with a cool confidence that Ash lacked himself.
But Ash didn’t know just how close this woman had been to his father. Though she had been nothing more than a human herself, she knew everything about Tate. How he led a Therian pack, how he was the leader of a mafia gang, and how he did illegal deals with people from different countries, or sometimes even right here in his home town. She also knew about Tate’s time in prison for murder, and the twist to all of that, was that the person Tate had murdered, was Joseline’s ex husband, who was responsible for the death of Josline’s daughter. Joseline and Tate had been sleeping together for years, and Jose was loyal to him to the very end. Ash had came in and became a new chance for both Joseline and Tate when Tate found him abandoned on that ship.
Joseline sat with Ash for a few hours, explaining as much as she could about herself, some of what she had told Ash, not even his father had mentioned. But, Ash sat there calm and collected. Like a sponge, he soaked up the knowledge he now had of both Joseline and his father. “Why is it so important for me to do bad things?” Ash blurted out, wondering why he needed to be like those he had been raised around. Joseline laughed, amused. “Well Ash. We all come from a certain background, and with that distinction, there’s not much room for people like us to do anything outside of what we’ve been raised to do. When kids are brought into dark families, those kids are already looked down upon by society, it’s just safer to live their family name and legacy” she explained.
Ash decided to let it go, and carry on his father’s legacy. Every night, Joseline eased Ash to sleep with a bedtime story about a Raven.“A distinct black shape, tumbling in the updrafts of a mountain crag - a raven at play. The 'grokking' call of a Raven is one of the most evocative sounds of Britain's uplands. The raven is probably the world's most intelligent and playful bird. In the world of myth, it is a bird of paradox, and something of a dark clown. Its association with playful intelligence is perhaps exceeded by its image as a bird of death. Its harsh call, and its presence in remote wild places and at scenes of death, has earned it a reputation as a bird of ill-omen. After all, the old collective noun for a group of ravens is an 'unkindness'. Yet there is so much more to the raven.” and by the time she’d read those words aloud, Ash was asleep; each and every night. The Raven had became something of great interest to the young boy.
A month had passed, and nothing from his father had indicated he was dead, until a knock at the door sent both Joseline and Ash both running. What they found on the other side was that of nightmares. A cardboard box wrapped up with a note stuck to the top, for Ash “Don’t be as foolish as your father” it read, and Joseline gasped before he even opened it. They both had a feeling that nothing good laid on the inside of that box. Opening it, Ash immediately threw up, seeing Tate’s decapitated head. It meant that yes, Tate was dead. Joseline was next in line, but this was something she decided to hide from Ash. The Therian’s who’d been left behind to guard Tate’s house over night, had also been found dead just inches away from the home. Joseline immediately felt the urge to flee, leaving Tate, a 12 year old boy to fend for himself, but not until she’d given him all he would need to start a new life, far away from this place, that would only have him dead if he chose to stay and take over his father’s name and what came with being a Dunford. Ash now had complete control over everything Tate Dunford had owned, making him one of the wealthiest citizens in their hometown, at just age 12. Ash wasn’t much less stubborn than the recently deceased himself.
Tate had after all taught Ash all that he knew, and among those many lessons came the one that would change Ash forever. Never run. And, Ash didn’t run. Instead, he stayed for years after that, moving in with a few of the Therians from his father’s pack, who’d became his next family. Therians raising a human, meant that Ash had become just as wicked as those that Tate Dunford had led around the city once upon a time, and he now lived a very volatile life. Together, they held a beautiful ceremony to bury Tate. Ash said his dreadful goodbye, and decided from that day forward, he’d help the Therians from his father’s pack with whatever they needed. Whether it was revenge for Tate’s death, or just simply doing illegal business. At age 16, four years after Tate’s death, Ash had mastered the illegal art of trafficking; he became the next notorious Dunford in Birmingham, Detroit, posing a threat to those with much higher rank than Ash himself.
The only thing that ever saved his ass was his last name. Tate may have not been Ash’s biological father, and he may have been dead and gone now, but his ways were still was still etched in the minds of those he’d shaken up. Ash walked around invincible for a while, and practically became numb to the impact it would have on his future.Ash continued his schooling, and while he was no longer top of his class due to how he had to make a living at just a young age, he still graduated. Mostly, the teachers and staff of the school wanted rid of him. So they were happy to hand him his 12th grade graduation certificate on his 18th birthday, just two years after the young boy had found himself numb to the illegal business he’d became consumed by. Years had passed since his ‘fathers’ death, and he hadn’t heard a word from Joseline. Things had began piling up, causing Ash to soon crash with the reality he’d made for himself.
He had enough money to do anything he wanted, but decided to indulge in the party life. From drugs to prostitutes, men and women both, Ash was never lonely, nor sober.The Therians who had taken over Tate and Joselines job of raising him, decided to take Ash out for a celebration. They figured after everything he’d been through, and the fact that Ash was bringing in enough drug feigns for them to have roofs over their heads, that they owed him a little something. It was during this celebration that a realization spun each of them inside out, rattling them to their bones. The pack of Therians had treated Ash to a strip club, the very one Joseline worked in, and supplied him with drinks all night. While Ash was half way drunk, a group of leather wearing ass-hats approached Ash and the pack of Therians. The one who appeared to be their leader, snickered as he looked Ash over. “We didn’t think you’d stay so long, Dunford.
You’re doing the family business well” he stated, before he looked to those standing behind him ‘his followers’. The Therians all stood protectively around Ash, Ash couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag due to how intoxicated he was.But, he knew enough to know that these men were bad news, and he heard what the leader of them had said. “You knew Tate?” Ash’s drunken slur rung out. The male stepped towards him, smirking. “Knew him? I killed him. And after that, I sent you and your whore of a mommy, a nice little gift” he snarled out wickedly. This had caused war. Ash and the Therians walked out, luring those who’d just admitted to killing Tate, out of the strip club. One of the men had Joseline, dragging her by her hair, scraping her skin against the concrete as she kicked and flailed in an attempt to get away.
Joseline worked as a stripper, with the stage name of Raven. She’d only used the name out of remembrance for Ash.She’d been somewhat like a mother to him, and the name Raven would forever remain a blissful memory of Ash’s childhood. “Raven.. Tell Ash goodbye” the man spoke darkly, and pulled Joseline up to her feet, still with his fingers entangled through her hair. The Valkyr didn’t even give her time to speak however, before flashing a sharp set of k-9 like fangs, and killing Joseline with ease. Valkyr’ had roamed freely in Ash’s hometown, and this was the result of rogues. The Therians lunged forward the moment they killed the blonde stripper. Better known as Joseline or Raven, Ash’s babysitter / mother figure. Ash had sobered up in the midst of the war going on around him, the Therians had managed to take most of the Valkyr’s out, only a few remaining alive, and able to flee before they died too. Ash crumbled to his knees beside Joseline’s dead body, holding her as he sobbed. Looking her over, Ash smiled through the tears as he saw the tattoo on her rib cage representing a Raven with Ash and Tate’s name in the style of Old English.
It had seemed like only yesterday when they’d buried Tate, and now Joseline had joined him. The Therians and Ash again put together a beautiful ceremony, joining Tate and Joseline side by side on a beautiful mountain side where a stream of water trickled down the rarest tree that grew out of a rock. It was one of the places Joseline had told Ash she met his father at to hang out or spend time together. Ash had lost himself when he lost Tate, then watched Joseline die right before him. And, even though an investigation was held for each of their deaths, the local PD covered it up, claiming they were mauled by animals, at least that was the case for Joseline.
They had decided to close his father’s case all together and not even investigate. Between the mafia leader, and the one in charge of the Valkyr’s in Detroit, Ash had come to realize, it was the same man all along. A group of species had rebelled and went rogue, fleeing the city in Colorado known as Evermore.The next year went by painfully slow. Ash and the Therians all seemed to be closed off to everything. Humanity had left the Therians, and eventually, they’d posed a threat to Ash who was nothing more than human. But,, not wanting to hurt him, they had told him to leave, to go live his life while he still could. Ash did just that after a teary goodbye to them.
Ash’s interest in supernaturals grew to an alarming rate after having to leave the only family he felt that he had left.. In fact, he’d became obsessed with them, but felt a dark hatred flowed through his veins that scared him. Ash started college with some of the money Tate had left to him, and eventually bought himself a nice car. After what had happened to Tate and Joseline, Ash only had one desire, and that was to give families closure on how their loved ones died. Plus for a little while, it distracted him from the hatred he felt for the supernatural world. A dark world in which he didn’t know much about except for how things went in his hometown, where rogues roamed freely and done as they pleased.With that, Ash spent the time necessary to be a forensic pathologist. He’d earned his bachelor’s degree, a medical degree and went through the extensive additional education and training needed in forensic pathology, and a one-year residency.
In all, Ash spent five years of his life learning and training, becoming one of the best forensic pathologist’s at age 24. It was when he had finished his one year residency in the program, that the darkness swallowed him whole. Ash wanted them all dead, all immortals, anything without a heartbeat with the appearance of a human being, he had even lost love for the Therian’s, since they’d became so hostile that Ash had no choice but to get away from the only family he had ever known. The obsessive nature he once feared had returned, and with his urge to kill, he knew he either needed to leave his hometown, or risk the chance of dying in a crossfire between himself and the supernaturals.Ash chose the latter. He’d learned just enough from being raised by Therians to know what Valkyr’s weaknesses were and ended up slaying a few of them, with the help of a few loyal friends he still had in his hometown.
Initially, it had caused one hell of a slaughter though, leaving those Ash still considered loyal minions, dead. Ash had nothing left here now and needed to escape, remembering the story of the Eternal City, leading Ash right to Colorado, with just the clothes on his back, and a duffel bag, holding prized possessions of Tate and Joselines, including Tate’s will with Ash’s name on it, a few bank cards that tied him to all the money he’d ever need, his cell phone and a change of clothes.Ash had settled in quite nicely in a small studio sized apartment the day he arrived to the Eternal City, wondering just what all mischief he could get himself involved in, in the new city. To celebrate starting over, Ash ended up getting a tattoo of a Raven on one side of his ribs, and a wolf on the other side, both tattoo’s were to remember the only two people he’d ever had as parents.
Forever he would live in his father’s name, and keep the memories they had made, alive. Even if Tate had fathered Ash in ways that children shouldn’t be parented, he loved Tate and Tate had loved him. Now that he was in a new city, he needed new contacts, having the itch to return to old habits, remembering just how notorious he’d became in his old city for drug trafficking, and walking around invincible for knowing everything he needed to know, to be the next in line ahead of his fathers mafia.While Ash began doing some digging, he’d also found out quite a few other interesting facts. Evermore apparently had tons of different species he never even knew about, lurking in every corner, and like a feign, he craved information about them so badly, that he’d began stalking them, one by one finding out just enough to make his apartment, a creepy shrine to the supernatural world. Articles and facts plastered to his walls, along with pictures of those he had managed force information out of by poison’s lethal to those without a heartbeat, plastered beside the information they gave to him. Ash needed to get himself employed now that he lived a new life, in a new city.
But, the wait was long and painful, and while he waited, Ash had began selling drugs once again; competing with the few well known drug lords he knew of here in the new city. It was only a couple weeks later after the human moved to Colorado, that ECPD called him in for his expertise, and that day, Ash became employed as a forensic pathologist. Feeling as though it was a new chance, Ash found himself able to smile again. Though, not everything was as pretty as it seemed. Deep down, Ash Dunford was a dark, twisted up person, who needed a new light shed on many different aspects of his life. For now though, who knows? Ash was ready to see how his new life unfolded. Ready to take on any challenge tossed at him.